Madibaz travel the long road

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 08:46
Large madibaz walk out 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Nelson Mandela Bay University Madibaz face an uphill battle in this year's Varsity Cup as they will not have any home fixtures. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

The Madibaz' stadium is currently undergoing much-needed renovations and has thus prompted tournament organisers to schedule all their to be played away from home. Head coach David Maidza is a little apprehensive as to how the players would handle being on the road every week.

"I'm not sure how it will work out. We need to ensure that we are as tight a group as possible and every squad member will have to work towards making the team better.

"There is no other way for us but to take the competition week by week and game by game in order to achieve the goals we have set ourselves. It was going to be tough even if we had home games, but we understand the challenge that is ahead of us and we have to take every opportunity to participate in this great concept," Maidza told rugby365.com.

Maidza believes that his squad have learnt valuable lessons from the 2016 edition of the competition when his relatively young side finished seventh - picking up a solitary victory.

"As a whole, it was a good lesson for the guys we brought in for their first year. Last year's format wasn't the best, especially for a young side like ours but at the same time, we have to make sure that we are building the youngsters and that they grasp the concept of the game.

"It was a good learning curve for them and it's about developing them to understand the game better and making sure they achieve their goals of wanting to get to the top level with the basic fundamentals embedded in them.

"On the whole, I believe that we are on the right track and have students athletes in our ranks who are here for the long term. So it's a good space for us to build a squad that continues to work together for years to come. But while we are building, we have to put in good performances that will hopefully turn into good results.

"We have to make sure that we are contenders and not just participants in this competition," he added.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 8 7 0 1 34
Maties 8 7 0 1 34
UJ 8 5 0 3 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
Wits 8 4 0 4 21
NWU-Pukke 8 4 0 4 19
NMMU-Madibaz 8 2 0 6 11
UCT-Ikeys 8 2 0 6 9
CUT-Ixias 8 0 0 8 3
Pool SHIELD
Team P W D L Pts
UWC 6 5 0 1 27
Fort Hare 6 4 0 2 20
UKZN-Impi 6 4 0 2 20
WSU 6 3 0 3 14
CPUT 6 2 0 4 10
TUT 6 2 0 4 9
Rhodes 6 1 0 5 6